All of the best films center around some sort of conflict, but it seems like most of this week's releases center around gratuitous conflict. It's like at some point in the creative process, someone stood up and shouted really loudly, "Let's get these people to fight!" ...Not that we're necessarily complaining, of course. We shout that all the time, usually in inappropriate situations.
Hey, remember the Titans? Somebody did, and they must have given them bad word-of-mouth, because Clash of the Titans has dropped off 56% in its second weekend, making only $26.7 million and almost allowing the Tina Fey-Steve Carell comedy Date Night to squeak into first place with $25.2 million. Granted, Titans has made a total of $230 million worldwide so far, and we doubt Date Night will ever make that much money, but it's hardly an even fight. While Titans has the Kraken, all Date Night could unleash was Mark Wahlberg's pecs. Magnificent, to be sure, but not really worth riding a pegasus around.
Because there's apparently nothing new under the sun, the 1981 Harry Hamlin toga fest Clash of the Titans is being remade. News of the remake has been circulating for a while has been out for a while, with reports that Blade director Steve Norrington would direct, but the movie's only just now been greenlit by Warner Brothers, thanks to a change in directors. Hot on the heels of his success with The Incredible Hulk, Louis Leterrier is set to take the reins of this refurbished ancient Greek chariot and drive it to the finish line. Warner Brothers wants him to hurry, though, because he isn't in the race alone: Variety reports that the studio is hoping to make it to theaters ahead of Relativity Media and its own epic Greek god flick, War of Gods. But how to speed up production to secure a victory?
This weekend's theatrical releases featured a true clash of the box-office titans. In one corner, you had the big-budget remake of the swords-and-scorpions epic; in the other corner, you had Tyler Perry; in the third corner, you had Miley Cyrus in a Nicholas Sparks movie. But did anyone doubt that Clash of the Titans, with the support of the entire Greek Pantheon (and a sizable ad budget), would win the day? It earned $64 million beginning on Thursday, and is already halfway to recouping its budget without even having opened overseas yet. While there may not be a Clash 2 in the making, we see a remake of the similarly gods-and-monsters-infused Jason and the Argonauts in the future. Release the army of skeletons!
Despite having one in my body and plenty in my closet, I'm terrified of skeletons. There was one in my grammar school, and I had to sit next to it during science class. I still have nightmares about it chasing me down those long school hallways, throwing metatarsals at me while singing "Dem Bones." (I went to public school; that skeleton was probably a former student.) So when Ray Harryhausen crafted that brilliant skeleton battle in Jason and the Argonauts, I watched it with a mixture of awe and unwarranted terror. Now, Dreamworks wants me to experience something even more horrifying: They're remaking Jason and the Argonauts and setting it in the present day. Oh goody! Skeletons shopping for guns at Wal-Mart!
Clash of the Titans, the cult classic mash-up of Greek mythologies and Harry Hamlin's 1981 abs, has finally gotten the remake treatment. The big, loud, expensive re-imagining hits theaters this week (in 3-D!), and though the 3-D itself and lead actor Sam Worthington disappoint, the movie is actually so fun and so gleefully stupid that, watching it, I felt like I was five years old again. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I love this mess of a movie.